Susan Lennon MSW, LCSW Content Strategist
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Hangover Helpers
USA Weekend Magazine, December 19, 2004
by Susan T. Lennon

HANGOVERS: Party-night tips to avoid morning-after misery
Remember: Staying on the wagon is the best way to avoid morning-after miseries, and you should never drink and drive. But many people do imbibe around the holidays, especially on New Year's Eve. And it takes only three drinks to cause hangover symptoms.

Some anti-hangover maneuvers for party night:

Before drinking, take dietary supplements. Prickly pear -- opuntia ficus indica -- purports to be scientifically proven to help cotton-mouth, lack of appetite and that green-around-the-gills nauseated feeling. RU-21, which is produced in Russia, claims to help the body break down alcohol and prevent the buildup of acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct of alcohol metabolism.

Do the juice switcheroo. "Have one glass of water or, preferably, juice for every alcoholic drink," says Frederick Freitag, D.O., of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, who is also a consultant for the National Headache Foundation. Alternate your refills -- one drink, one glass of juice, one drink, one glass of water -- for the entire party. You'll prevent dehydration and satisfy your thirst, and your body will better metabolize the booze.

Eat while you drink. Food helps keep alcohol in the stomach longer. Why that matters: When alcohol flows too readily into the small intestine, you get drunk faster, and your best intentions tend to fly out the window.

Too late? Here's how to treat a hangover

-- Eat carbs
-- Take B vitamins
-- Exercise
-- Eat spicy food
-- Take the "hair of the dog"
-- another drink will just prolong the pain
Source: Frederick Freitag, Diamond Headache Clinic

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